Since the mass suicide associated with the religious organization, Peoples Temple, took place , it’s hard to view Jim Jones or the group in a different light. However, there were some positive accomplishments attributed to Jones and his efforts, such as his support of the African American community mentioned in this article.
13. Jones was an ally of the African American community. He assisted in the integration of churches, restaurants, the phone company, police department, a theater, amusement park, and the Methodist Hospital. He was visible in the African American neighborhoods. In town, he did things like set up stings to catch restaurants that did not serve African American patrons. He played an important role in desegregating the wards of a hospital.
14. Because of his views on integration, Jones experienced backlash. The locals and white-owned businesses were not fond of him. A swastika was put on the Temple. In the Temple coal pile, a stick of dynamite was found. Jones found a dead cat on his own property after receiving a threatening phone call. Some people suspected that some of the incidents were of Jones’ doing.
15. Jones enjoyed reading and studied numerous political and religious figures, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, and Adolf Hitler. He would especially pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses.
16. Jim and his wife Marceline adopted several children that all possessed a percentage of non-Caucasian ancestry. He referred to his home unit as the “rainbow family.” When he spoke of integration, he could now say that it was a personal cause. The pair adopted three children with Korean-American roots. At this time, he was encouraging Temple members to adopt orphans from Korea, which had been torn apart by war.
17. In 1954, Jones adopted Agnes Jones, who was part Native American, when she was 11 years old. In 1959, they adopted a six-year-old girl, while in June, they had their only biological child, which they named Stephan Gandhi Jones. In 1961, the Joneses made history by becoming the first white couple in Indiana to adopt a black child. His name was James Warren Jones, Jr.
18. During mid-1963, the Joneses relocated to Rio de Janeiro, where they spent their time working with the poor in local slums. At this time, Jones became interested in studying the local Brazilian religion. However, Jones returned to rescue the Temple upon hearing that the organization was about to collapse. He had already been feeling guilty about leaving behind Indiana and all of his progress.
19. Jones often spoke against Christianity, claiming that it was a religion based upon keeping women and people of color separate.
20. Jones was also a part of the political world, which blossomed when he moved the Peoples Temple headquarters to San Francisco in 1975. The Temple started to make political connections and also aided in the election of George Moscone for mayor in 1975. In turn, Moscone appointed Jones as the Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission.
21. Jones mingled with well-known politicians and activists, such as Harvey Milk and Angela Davis.
22. Jones died on November 18, 1978 alongside more than 900 members of the Peoples Temple.